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The very commonplace phrase entitling this blog is actually a pretty interesting one to stop and think about. While we as Americans like to claim we know it all and nothing is uncommon territory, we couldn't be more wrong. For many people, the thing they don't know the most is themselves.

I would be hypocritical if I didn't take a second to say I am just as guilty of this as any Average Joe. I wasn't quite aware how guilty I was, however, until I took a couple Implicit Association Tests. The main point of these tests is to see how well you relate to either side of the experiment - Side A or Side B. The tests do it in a rather unique way, however. They measure how well you relate good and/or bad things Sides A and B. From this, it is determined which side you correlate with most and how much so.

I realized after I took a couple of them that I honestly don't know myself as well as I thought I did. It was, however, an eye opening experience that has made me open up my thoughts as I go about my daily activities and helped me to realize that we definitely don't know all that we think we do.

Best blog ever.
My personality analysis of the lover of Lily Evans, the victim of the Marauders, the saver of the wizarding world, the object of my affection, and "the bravest man" Harry Potter ever knew:

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Look how agreeable he looks!

Openness: At first glance slash meeting, the average human being would not describe Severus Snape as particularly "Open to New Experiences." However, by the end of The Half-Blood Prince, we readers have realized that Snape is an intellectually curious, inventive, and powerful wizard/. After all, a Closed wizard could hardly have attained a vast enough knowledge of the Dark Arts to win a duel against three Hogwarts professors; save Albus Dumbledore, Katie Bell, Draco Malfoy, and countless others' lives; and successfully pull the wool over Lord Voldemort's eyes.
Conscientiousness: If Severus Snape is anything, he is careful (aside from situations involving Harry, Sirius, or a challenge of cowardice - in those instances, reckless might be a better adjective). Only an intensely vigilant, calculating, and conscientious individual could have successfully earned and kept the trust of both the goodest and the evilest wizards in the wizarding world (AND kept his true loyalties a secret) until the very end.
Extraversion: I'm sure by now that you've sensed a very defensive pattern in this analysis. That ends here. Snape was one introverted dude.
Agreeableness: "Sociable and easy to get along with." ...BAHAHAHA. Snape, easy to get along with. That's a good one.
Neuroticism: I lied. If Severus Snape is anything, he is neurotic... though perhaps only on the outside. It's true that he's eternally depicted as tense, moody, and socially maladjusted, but there are only a handful of times in the series where Snape is beset by feelings of anxiety, compulsiveness, or obsessiveness. He would view such feelings as weaknesses and refuse to be hindered by them.

Ever since when I was a little boy, I knew everything happens for a reason, maybe a lot of the times they are hard to see or they are way too complex for me to understand, but the answers are out there. Later on I had this thought about Determinism when I was in 11th grade in high school, even before I've read anything about Determinism. It is not really surprising for me to form this idea all on my own, the idea which existed for centuries. Because I have some fundamental knowledge regarding Physics, Biology, and Chemistry. In addition I was able to think freely since I did not believe in an obsolete answer to everything. This idea is determined to form in my brain. Have you ever wondered about why we think the way we think? Why do we make certain decisions? Why did we see the squiggly lines arranged in certain pattern or so called words on our computer screen and make sense in our heads? As you're reading this, you are forming meanings in your head, maybe you will comment, or keep reading the next blog, perhaps you want to pee, or now you want to pee after I mentioned the word "pee". Where am I getting at? I guess I'm saying, that what you do, think, and feel, or will do, will think, and will feel are predetermined! Wait what? How? As I type this, I touch the keyboard, the signal is put into computer as electronic pulses meaning 0 and 1. They are arranged in a way so they will make since inside of a computer, and then the data is transferred via internet. The data gets to the server, stored in magnetic arrangements inside the server hard-drive. You go up on the website, the server sends a copy of the data to your computer. Your computer translate those data into light waves shooting out of your screen. Your eyes catches them and transfer the signals into your brain for processing. You then form a thought based on your brain structure and previous knowledge acquired. This thing will happen, and you will think the way you think right now. The next thing you do, you will do it, there is no way to avoid what you do next. Or what really appears to be free thinking is not really free, you are on a path of getting this piece of thought. Everything happens for a reason. I guess it is really hard to explain it with words. If you get what I said, now consider this, maybe the universe calculate at light speed, if you go closer to light speed, the time slows down, it might be due to the fact where the universe is having a harder time to calculate you! We can never calculate our future because we can't calculate at light speed. But the universe can. Well this blog seem random enough, probably it's because I haven't got much sleep. I'm luck this is only a blog, not a paper. :PFreewill_vs._Determinism.jpg

The idea of implicit prejudices is a very interesting one. Implicit prejudice refers to the unfounded negative belief of which we're unaware of regarding the characteristics of an out-group. To test for this researchers have come up with the Implicit Association Test (IAT). According to the IAT 54% of subjects have moderate or strong preference for Caucasians over African Americans. This information is disturbing to say the least, but the tests validity has been called into question because of its lack of falsifiability. If you want to take the test for yourself it can be found here: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/demo/ iat2.jpg

Because the concept of implicit prejudice and the IAT place so much emphasis on the subconscious, I got to wondering how Freud would describe such a phenomenon. Would he explain it by arguing Caucasians' adverse feelings toward African-Americans are a result of them projecting their negative qualities onto another, or would he claim it's an act of displacement, directing an impulse from a socially unacceptable target onto a more socially acceptable target. Society seems to have deemed negative feelings toward African Americans to be okay, but negative feelings against one's own race to be unacceptable. Because of this, Caucasians may displace their negative feelings about their own race onto an out-group, which serves as a scapegoat in this situation. Unfortunately, there is no way for Freud himself to explain implicit prejudices, but it is an interesting thing to ponder. How do you think Freud would explain implicit prejudice?

Wait, I Thought That??

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For blog #3 I chose to take an Implicit Association Test (IAT). I was asked play the role of consumer and first looked over an advertisement about a fictitious laundry detergent called Softate. While observing the product, I noticed certain things that as a consumer would be turned off by; such examples would be like that Softate is "almost as effective as the other well known brands" or that it is "packaged cheaply so it can be the same price as the other guys." To me this was a product I would never consider buying, so when the questions about whether I would buy the product came up I answered as such. Following the short opinion of product section, there was a matching portion where I was asked to sort pictures of detergents with a Softate label or a Other Detergents label. This task was followed with a sorting of adjectives like marvelous and glorious or awful and unpleasant into the side of "Softate" or "Other Detergents" categories. Then halfway through the sorting, the sides of the categories were swapped, and i continued to sort the pictures and adjectives. Once the sorting was complete a couple more questions were asked to me and I responded with dislike towards Softate. The test was then complete.
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When I went to see the results of the test, I was shocked to see that I "showed little or no opinion towards Softate." Throughout the whole test I had adamantly stated that I would never buy the product. However, the test determined otherwise. How could this be? It turns out that my neutrality was from an unconscious response to the sorting portion of the test. Though I may have thought I knew what I thought, I actually didn't. Confusing right? Well IATs test this phenomenon of how people don't know their own minds with tests like the one I took. Some factors of why something is thought consciously are because of things like social, political, economic restrictors. Unconscious things are tricky business, and it is difficult to think of where something that isn't thought by your conscious comes from. This is a great way to checkup on your consciousness, so go take a test for yourself and see if you think you know what you think here.

Part of the Crowd

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Have you ever noticed that you do something better when with another person or in a group? The phenomenon of social facilitation has been studied for about a hundred years.
In 1898, Triplett had noticed bicycle racers times were better when they raced as a group. Additional experiments showed that doing activities as groups improves speed on simple calculations, and improves accuracy in simple motor tasks. When someone is surrounded by other people, their arousal increases.
What about just being part of the crowd?
When you're at an athletic event do you really get into the game like yelling at the ref and cheering really loud? Arousal is the reason for that. Being in a crowd makes people perspire more, breathe faster, tense muscles, and increase heart rate.
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What is it about being part of a group that increases our arousal?
1. Evaluation apprehension: fear of being judged by others can increase our arousal.
2. Distraction: when people are focusing on how others are reacting to them, those thoughts become distracting and can hamper performance on complex tasks in the presence of others.
3. Mere Presence: Even with no evaluation or apprehension, someone will perform a task better by just with someone being there.
So what do you think? Do you do things better in the presence of others?

From country to country and culture to culture, most agree that youth and symmetry represent beauty. But specific beauty standards differ immensely. For a moment, imagine an ideal American woman. An image of Megan Fox or Katrina Bowden may come to mind. They could both be described as thin, tall, and breathtakingly pretty by the average American's standards. And do take note, that these beauty standards are the ones that often pressure women to go to sickening lengths of plastic surgery, implants, fake teeth, fake hair and fake tans. Is this what beauty is all about? If beauty can really be held to a single standard than by all means, go on a diet, get your hair done and spend all your money on the latest fashion trends.
To me, however, beauty is more than a single aspect, and I encourage you to explore standards around the world. In Mauritania, being curvy is being beautiful. Girls are fattened up in order to become more desirable to their future husbands. In the Middle East, beauty isn't all about appearance but sometimes what meets the nose, or just a glimpse of the dark eyes under the head to toe black covering that most women there sport. For members of a tribe near Thailand, long necks are considered ideal, and they wear rings around their necks in order for them to appear more elongated. These examples are ones that show while some simple beauty standards are consistent around the world, many more vary. So be yourself and you'll be beautiful.
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For more photos of beauty ideals throughout the world, click here

Sadly it's true. Many believe that lie detectors are flawless; however research shows that polygraphs are only accurate 70% of the time. Through social media and TV shows I thought I knew the basics to lie detection, but after reading more in depth about it, I now realize that I was wrong. I was surprised to find out that there is "little to no correlation between people's confidence in their ability to detect lies and their accuracy", or in other words confidence doesn't relate to correctness. An article in USA Today revealed that "Lie detectors are likely lying themselves." According to the article, It turns out that polygraphy is not only an incredibly inexact science, but that reading the results of a lie detector is almost entirely subjective. The problem isn't that the machines don't record something, but that what's recorded is entirely up to interpretation. In my opinion, I feel that the reasoning the article gives is incorrect, but that could be because the article is old. This article contradicts with previous statement about confidence and the ability to detect lies. For that reason, I believe that this article is a not a great source, but it does have some useful information.

Polygraph

This topic grasped my interest because I love watching mystery shows. One of my favorite shows is White Collar where Neal Caffrey is a "former" con artist who is serving a four year sentence for bond forgery under the supervision of agent Peter Burke of the FBI. In one episode, he falsely passes a polygraph by poking himself with a thumbtack before answering every question. This is just one of several tricks to passing a polygraph. In fact, there is a website especially designed to help people falsely pass polygraphs.

Overall, I think we can all safely say that polygraphs are not the best option, but then the question comes to mind; what can beat the lie detector? Maybe something like this might do the trick. This new idea would be using eye movement to detect lies. Instead of measuring a person's emotional reaction to lying, eye-tracking technology measures the person's cognitive reaction. Only time will tell, if this will truly work.

valentines gift For video click here
Is there more to love than hugs, kisses, or stuffed animals and chocolates on Valentine's Day? It seems like American popular culture focuses on the corporate and consumer symbols of love instead of the science behind the attraction. While the children in the video don't have a deep understanding of what it means to be in a romantic relationship, they do describe a popular perception of love: that being in love means that you like someone and you give them hugs and kisses. People often ignore what causes attraction: proximity, similarity, reciprocity, and physical attraction. To have consummate love, a relationship needs intimacy, passion, and commitment, and according to the triangular theory of love you need at least some combination of two of those factors to have some degree of love. It seems like the popular perception of love is changing and evolving, but to what end? Having similar values, education, age, proximity, and other factors are good indicators of determining the longevity of a relationship, but people rarely describe those characteristics when they talk about why they love their partner. You rarely hear people say "I love my partner because she sat next to me on the bus on our way to class for a semester when we were undergrads. Not all relationships are based on superficial and corporate definitions of love, but it seems like the American popular culture is focusing on the feelings and responses of being in love, and not the physical, and mental connections associated with it.

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The outraged and comical responses to Samantha Brick's blog "There are downsides to looking this Pretty: Why Women Hate Me for Being Beautiful", just about broke the internet. In the blog, the French freelance writer claims to have received various gifts from males strangers, and to have been shunned from females who were friends and coworkers who were just flat out jealous of her looks.

In our PSY 1001 teachings on physical attractiveness, we have learned that while symmetry has proven to be a main contributor to attractiveness, as it provides a sense of health and 'good genes' to the onlooker, further studies also show that people are more attracted to just 'plain average' symmetric faces - as well as 'just average' pets and objects.

Our book also discussed a study of speed dating, when men and women interact with potential dates for a mere three minutes. When all was said and done, men chose to have further contact with 50% of the women they met, whereas women were more decidedly pickier, selecting just 30% of the men to meet again.

Therefore the problem with Mrs. Brick's claims is that she is forgetting to rule out rival hypotheses. The fact that men open doors for her, buy her drinks, even full bottles of champaign could merely mean that she is in the top 50% of attractive females that these men encounter. I don't know if that makes her "too beautiful" or "just average". Given her 40+ years of age, chance offers an explanation for some of the gifts offered to her by men.

Women are not just picky about looks of the opposite sex, we are known to be picky of one another. Although Brick's claims that she is " not smug" and is "not a flirt", the fact that she does not further examine her personality as the possible problematic context and rather uses every piece of 'evidence' to support her claim could be considered confirmation bias. It would have been interesting to see what some of the 'jealous females' would have to say either prior to her writing the blog or in response. The way Mrs. Brick acts around men or in response to male attention could be an indicator of how she is being treated by other women. This is just one possibly theory out of many.

To Samantha Brick. please think before you speak. There is usually a lot of grey connecting the black and the white.

Read the blog: 'There are downsides to looking this pretty': Why women hate me for being beautiful visit: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2124246/Samantha-Brick-downsides-looking-pretty-Why-women-hate-beautiful.html#ixzz1rWp8a5Wo

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The outraged and comical responses to Samantha Brick's blog "There are downsides to looking this Pretty: Why Women Hate Me for Being Beautiful", just about broke the internet. In the blog, the French freelance writer claims to have received various gifts from males strangers, and to have been shunned from females who were friends and coworkers who were just flat out jealous of her looks.

In our PSY 1001 teachings on physical attractiveness, we have learned that while symmetry has proven to be a main contributor to attractiveness, as it provides a sense of health and 'good genes' to the onlooker, further studies also show that people are more attracted to just 'plain average' symmetric faces - as well as 'just average' pets and objects.

Our book also discussed a study of speed dating, when men and women interact with potential dates for a mere three minutes. When all was said and done, men chose to have further contact with 50% of the women they met, whereas women were more decidedly pickier, selecting just 30% of the men to meet again.

Therefore the problem with Mrs. Brick's claims is that she is forgetting to rule out rival hypotheses. The fact that men open doors for her, buy her drinks, even full bottles of champaign could merely mean that she is in the top 50% of attractive females that these men encounter. I don't know if that makes her "too beautiful" or "just average". Given her 40+ years of age, chance offers an explanation for some of the gifts offered to her by men.

Women are not just picky about looks of the opposite sex, we are known to be picky of one another. Although Brick's claims that she is " not smug" and is "not a flirt", the fact that she does not further examine her personality as the possible problematic context and rather uses every piece of 'evidence' to support her claim could be considered confirmation bias. It would have been interesting to see what some of the 'jealous females' would have to say either prior to her writing the blog or in response. The way Mrs. Brick acts around men or in response to male attention could be an indicator of how she is being treated by other women. This is just one possibly theory out of many.

To Samantha Brick. Please think before you speak. There is usually a lot of grey connecting the black and the white.

To read the blog: 'There are downsides to looking this pretty': Why women hate me for being beautiful visit: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2124246/Samantha-Brick-downsides-looking-pretty-Why-women-hate-beautiful.html#ixzz1rWp8a5Wo

Okay, admit it ladies. You have probably pondered your wedding at least once in your lives. Some of you, me included, may even have a "secret folder" on our computer full of wedding dresses and rings etc. that we hope our significant other won't find. But if you haven't completely checked into that level of crazy yet, then you may perhaps have seen an episode of the popular TLC show Say Yes To The Dress. Set at one of the largest and most expensive bridal salon's in the world, Klienfeld's in New York City, Say Yes To The Dress epitomizes the conspicuous consumerism now married to american weddings which cost, on average, $28,000 per event.
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Now, if unlike me you are a wedding sceptic, the question you may be asking is why?How did it possibly go this far and where did the lavish tradition come from? As discussed in the Washington Post Article "Wedded to Consumption" found here, it all comes down to the psychological triangular theory of love and the all important facet of commitment. None of this wedding spending craze is actually new, as early as the 1950's pop culture produced movies like the original Father of the Bride where a middle class father is at a loss to explain why his daughter needs such a lavish wedding. Traditionally, the wedding and the gifts exchanged at showers etc. were an important means of providing the new couple with all they would need for their new household. Brides spent years collecting their trousseaus and hope chests to take into their new role. These days, the article argues, because sex and cohabitation are usually no longer postponed in a relationship the wedding has been glorified to be a symbolic transformation of the couple to show their eternal commitment. A transformation of the inward self marked by the outward accumulation of stuff. This transformation is one of the defining marks of commitment in a consummate relationship and may, because of the extreme cost and publicity of the event, cause us to remain committed for some time to come.

Personally, while I understand that this has all gotten a little out of hand, with the industry spurning billions of dollars of profit each year and despite being a fairly rational being I have fallen to the allure. I want the white dress, the dream setting the whole American dream wedding that will start my life with my husband to be, despite the large price tag. Who knows, I may even be a "Klienfeld Bride".

The Fastest Way of Losing Weight?
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Nowadays, many people consider the slender body as one type of beauty. In consequence, number of people who exercise, eat healthy and less calorie food increases. Often, this trend to have a thin figure brings a side effect of disease called bulimia, or bulimia nervosa. Bulimia is an eating disorder characterized by episodes of excessive eating followed by inappropriate methods of weight control, such as self-induced vomiting. Binge eating is accompanied by a feeling of loss of control over eating. People with bulimia often lose their control over eating, and get rid of their stress by excessively over eating. Shortly after, they feel guilt and worry about being fat and they induce vomiting in order to empty their stomach. Sometimes, vomiting releases a powerful rush of endorphins and this keeps people doing vomit after overeating

In a short run, people lose their weight as they empty their stomach. However, in a long run, repeated overeating and vomiting causes a severe physical damage. Continuous regurgitation of gastric juice damages mouth and teeth, and low blood pressure takes place due to malnourishment. The worst case, but most frequent effect of bulimia would be a suicide attempt.

In order to avoid this severe disease, people should not attempt to get rid of their stress by overeating. In addition, it is important to not feel guilty about overeating, and try to control body weight with an appropriate amount of food and steady exercise.

To find out more information about positive reinforcement training, click here.

"If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything."-Mark Twain

"Lie to Me" was a moderately successful television show on FOX that was canceled last year. The basic idea of the show was that Tim Roth, a psychologist and the main character of the show, was able to aid law enforcement agencies by applying psychology principles in order to ascertain whether or not suspects were telling the truth. While being able to tell whether or not someone is lying definitely makes for an interesting show, are people in real life able to do similar things? The answer, as I found out, is unsurprisingly no. Predictably, most people feel that they are great at detecting lies; however research suggests that most people are only correct about detecting lies 55 percent of the time, with a few people nearing 70 percent accuracy.

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What about machines?

Lie detector machines such as polygraph tests are another frequently used method of detecting lies, at least on television. Polygraph tests, though still popular today, have been proven to not be very accurate in determining whether or not someone is lying and as such aren't admissible in most U.S. courts. Other tests that have been met with mixed results include the guilty knowledge test, a test which banks on the idea that criminals harbor concealed knowledge about the crime that innocent people do not. Tests using brain scanning techniques have also been experimented with however different studies have found activations in different regions of the brain during lying.

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Eating disorders could be caused by many factors such as physical, psychological, and social issues. Some may argue that media images have had psychological effects on people with their self-esteem which has been one of the causes of eating disorders. Media may not be directly causing eating disorders, but it definitely affects people on how they think of themselves in comparison with the body images they see on the media. Click HERE for more information about media influence on eating disorders.
For example, the show called "The Biggest Loser" describes obese people as "losers" of this society who fail themselves.Biggest-Loser-Winner.jpg
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When participants of the show lose weights, they are told or described that they are more worthy and attractive. Although the appearance cannot define every aspect of a person, the media tends to account one's appearance as an important quality of a person. This effect of media can be very dangerous as everyone is exposed to the media all the time. Due to the body images portrayed in the media, people could feel the pressure of being "attractive" which really means being thin. This leads people to the extreme such as eating disorders.

Since the media has strong power over people's development of self-esteem and body image, it would be useful to prevent eating disorders as well as other negative psychological effects on people if the media present more diverse of people with more positive messages about self-esteem.

Today, more than 27 million Americans are taking anti-depressants. From Celexa to Zoloft, anti-depressants are going through the population at higher rates than ever before. However, the body doesn't process and decompose the entire dosage. The medication that isn't processed by the body is excreted. Water and sewage treatment plants aren't designed to remove these chemicals, and inevitably, these chemicals wind up in rivers, springs, and other water bodies.

The result: aquatic ecosystems are becoming filled with anti-depressant medications. Fish require significantly less of the medication to feel the effect. Many different effects are being observed. One result finds that the concentrations of fish near these waste disposal facilities are increasing. Another consequence of this chemical waste effects fish on migratory patterns. Some fish migrate through these chemicals. Most fish become easily dependent upon these medications in a short period of time. Test done on these fish that were then put in cleaner environments found that the fish that were removed from the medication became more depressed than the control group.

To understand whether the fish were demonstrating depressive behavior, fish were offered food for an increment of time, and if the fish hadn't consumed the food during that period, it was removed from the fish tank. Fish that were not exposed to the chemicals ate the food without issue. However, fish that were exposed to the chemical then removed to cleaner water consumed the food at a far less rate. This demonstrates that their has been a change in the neurochemistry during their exposure as well as the effects of withdrawal from these medications.

The effects of anti-depressants on these fish should be exemplary of the effects of anti-depressants on people today. Even if the body chemistry of people develops in such a way to render anti-depressants useless, the withdrawal from the medication makes getting off the medication difficult. In this way, anti-depressants are self-sustaining. The fish model displays why most doctors try to ween their patients off medications.

Source:
http://www.truesnow.org/learn/waste-water-news/8-antidepressants-make-for-sad-fish

Liar Liar

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Lying and lie detection is depicted surprisingly often in our media today. Shows such as Lie To Me, CSI, and even Dr. Phil expose to public to, and use, different methods to distinguishing the truth from lies. Because of this exposure, I thought I knew the basics to lie detection, but after reading more in depth about it, I now realize that I was wrong. It was surprised to find out that there is "little to no correlation between people's confidence in their ability to detect lies and their accuracy", or in other words confidence doesn't relate to correctness. In addition, lies tend to have fewer details and qualifiers in comparison to true statements. polygraph_test.jpg As we all know, there are many ways to test whether someone is telling the truth or not. One of the most common, or well known, ways is the polygraph test. This test essentially measures the bodily reactions to lying. For example, one's heart rate, blood pressure, or perspiration. At first glance this seems like a great measure, but it's been found that the polygraph test is actually biased against the innocent, for these bodily functions can also be present in nervousness, arousal, or anxiousness, and not solely in lying. I found this fact extremely surprising because on television, for example, the polygraph is shown in a light that makes it seem as though it is extremely reliable, when in reality it shows almost 40% of innocent people as guilty. I found this section of the chapter very interesting for this reason exactly.

When we think of aggression, we typically associate it with males. I picture in my head guys exhibiting physical violence against other guys. For the most part, this is true if it pertains to physical aggression. Researchers believe that males tend to display physical aggressiveness more than females because males have higher levels of the hormone testosterone. However, the correlation between testosterone and aggression is quite controversial because aggression may cause higher testosterone rather than the other way around. Regardless, research has shown that testosterone has a positive correlation with aggression.

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Despite the popular belief that males are more aggressive than females, it has been discovered that girls tend to be higher than boys in relational aggression. Relational aggression is a form of indirect aggression that's displayed by acts of gossiping, social exclusion, and nonverbal putdowns. Girls tend to show their aggression through actions that "stab others in the back." One of the possible reasons for this is because of the cultural acceptance of aggression. Girls receive more negative feedback for physical aggression during their developmental years. This makes indirect aggression more socially acceptable for girls. More information regarding gender differences in aggression can be found here.

I thought it was interesting that the gossipy behavior that girls tend to use is a form of aggression. I suppose in a way that it's their way of displaying their anger and getting back at others rather than fighting physically. Additionally, girls tend to be weaker than guys so they're not as capable of using physical force. I still wonder what factual evidence there is that supports the stance that girls have higher relational aggression. Is it more observational? Nevertheless, it appears that males tend to display physical aggression more and females tend to display relational aggression more.

In a survey from NHANES, in 2012 about 36% of adults and 17% of children are considered obese. This reason, along with the growing need to become a replica of a stick-thin model, has allowed for many "fad diets" to become popular among desperate individuals. Many diets, including the Mediterranean Diet, South Beach Diet and Weight Watchers, insist that you cut down on sweets and limit your intake of carbohydrates, which, in my opinion, are two of the most irresistible types of food. So what if there was a type of diet that only allows you to eat all the pasta and chocolate you wanted? Well, you're in luck.

In the Pasta-Chocolate diet, a typical eating plan for a day is as follows: For breakfast - fresh fruit. Morning snack - popcorn. Lunch - salad (low-calorie dressing only) and spaghetti. Afternoon snack - popcorn. Dinner - fettuccine with garlic tomato sauce and steamed vegetables. And lastly, for an evening snack - popcorn and up to 1 oz of chocolate.
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But what they fail to mention is all the food that needs to be avoided in order for this fad diet to be effective. Some of these off-limit foods include: salt, sugars, fried foods, dairy products, red meats, nuts, soda, caffeine, and chips. And after taking into account that this diet also entails an unhealthy daily caloric intake (under 1200 calories), it is clear that this Pasta-Chocolate diet is unfortunately too good to be true.

Extreme dieting in general can lead to many health risks, such as depression, fatigue, malnutrition, and dehydration. This is why it is necessary to consult your physician if you are need of a serious weight plan. Extreme dieting is detrimental and rarely works to keep the pounds off for an extended period of time. These fad diets like the Pasta-Chocolate diet is never an option that should be considered when wanting to lose weight. The negative aspects far outweigh the positive ones.

"Vampire+Human=?!"

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Twilight seems to be the most popular star-crossed lover story since Romeo and Juliet. For those of you who haven't seen it or read the books, here's a link to the trailer. It's basically about how a human girl named Bella and a vampire boy named Edward who fall in love. Even though it might seem absurd for two people of a different species to fall in love, it actually makes a lot of sense when you look at their relationship regarding the three major principles.e&b.jpg

The first principle, proximity, is the physical nearness the two people are to each other in life. When Bella moves to Forks, Washington, she ends up living in the same town and going to the same high school as Edward. She first sees him in their school cafeteria. A lot of the beginning of their relationship takes place in their biology classroom where they share a lab table.

The second principle, similarity, is the extent to which two people have things in common with each other. Now, being that she's a human and he's a vampire, you wouldn't think they'd have a whole lot in common. But you'd be wrong. They're both very mature for their age (even though he's technically way older than 17). They are both quite intelligent and do well in school. Their families play important roles in both of their lives. Also, both Bella and Edward are physically attractive.

The last principle, reciprocity, is the rule of give and take. Even though both Edward and Bella know they are in love with the other, neither one wants to be the one to say it first because they aren't sure how they other person feels about them. It's only when they both admit to their feelings can their relationship really begin to grow. Throughout the series, each of them has to make sacrifices for them to be together, it's not just one of them that is doing all the giving or all of the taking.

Twilight--a movie and book series that everyone knows about, but not everyone likes. It is a love story between a human, Bella and a vampire, Edward. According to Ellen Berscheid there are three major principles in attraction and relationship formation. Edward-3-bella-twilight-couples-24897291-453-303.jpg The relationship between Edward and Bella worked well because of proximity. They never left each others side, thus having a huge success in their love story because of proximity. Everywhere Bella went, Edward would follow. He thought he was being "protective" but really it was because of the strong chemistry he felt toward Bella and had to be close to her. The relationship also had a lot of reciprocity between the two. Bella and Edward equally gave and take from the relationship to fuel their love, even though Bella, annoyingly, always made a point to suggest that Edward gave so much more to her and that she could never give him enough. When it came to similarity, however, the two should have crashed and burned. They had something extremely different between each other at first--Edward being a vampire and Bella being human. Although because Bella constantly asked Edward to change her and because she really had no personality, like Edward, they were more closely matched than I had originally thought. All in all, Edward and Bella, however annoying their relationship had been, was bound for success because they had met the three principles of a relationship to a T. Edward and Bella.jpg

Most people would agree that beauty is a fairly subjective thing. Everyone has different ideas about what is beautiful and find different things attractive. There are also differences between cultures on what is generally considered beautiful. This article discusses some of the more radical differences in beauty ideals around the world. A few examples include the elongation of women's necks with brass rings in the Kayan tribe or the preference for chin and lip tattoos in Polynesia. These may seem strange and even ugly to a Westerner but many of the things we consider normal and attractive would be unusual to them. We get plastic surgery to change how our body looks and wear braces for years to have straight teeth. Neither is right or better, it's like they say "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."
There are some things that appear to be considered beautiful around the world though. They seem to mainly apply to women and this makes sense because as we learned men care more about beauty than women do. Another article talks about things like youth, clear skin, and symmetry that men find attractive across all cultures. This suggests that there are some universal beauty standards. The-Giraffe-Women-of-the-Neck-Rings-2.jpg

We all know the feeling of being full. Especially when one overeats, their stomach hurts and they feel lethargic--as if the body is mad at how much we ate. Even in times when we don't eat, we generally have a sense of when we have gotten enough food. This feeling of satisfaction of hunger is an important body signal we wouldn't want to miss. This message is brought to you by a proud sponsor of the body, the "hunger hormone", leptin! The hormone "leptin" plays an important biological role in signaling to our hypothalamus and brain stem when to reduce appetite and increase energy use.
Most people who are obese tend to become more resistant to these leptin signals. In further researching the importance of leptin, a study was noted on leptin's role in weight loss published in an article by ABC News last summer.

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=125877&page=1

Everyone has leptin. Well, almost everyone at least. Today there are only three known people who genetically lack the hormone. Bayrum Donsek, Elif Fakili, and Zeynep Fakili are three cousins from Turkey who by genetic mutation lack the hormone leptin; thus, they never experience feeling full, and have eaten themselves to very high weights. These three individuals went to UCLA to participate in a study where the subjects, being completely deficient of leptin, were injected with the hormone. Without even being told to eat less or exercise, the results proved to be incredibly significant, and all three lost a significant amount of weight.

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As you can see, the hormones of our body are crucial, and are important messengers to keep us in homeostasis for maximum functioning! We can't go on well without them!!!

Eating disorder is big issue in my country, South Korea. Many young students try to be slim because all of celebrities in TV are really slim and look good. One of my friends has an eating disorder. Whenever she eats food, she vomits everything what she ate. Even though nobody says she is fat, she always has a pressure by herself that she has to keep her body slim like a movie star. Her parents have worried her and visited to a hospital with her regularly to treat her. Now, she gets treatment for her eating disorder from the hospital and getting better. According to the research from the July issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, eating disorder especially, anorexia nervosa (AN) causes high death rate. The interesting discovery is that death rates for depression and schizophrenia are lower than for AN. Of course, the authors admit that there are other factors which related to the increasing death rate. Furthermore, the researchers found that the patients who get AN when they were in 20s have more higher death rates than who get AN when they were in 30s.
To get more information, click HERE. mmh_eating_01.jpg

Studies suggest that the college students tell an average of two lies per day. We all lie. This is the reason that there is such a large emphasis on lie detection. There are many different lie detection techniques: nonverbal behaviors, polygraph tests, guilty knowledge tests (GKT), brain fingerprinting, fMRI methods. Of all of these techniques, the polygraph test is one of the most popular. Ever since its creation in 1915, it has been used to detect lies and convict criminals. The polygraph test rests on the assumption of the Pinocchio response, which is defined as a perfect physiological or behavioral indicator of lying. Although the largest organization of polygraph examiners claims that the test is 98% accurate, the polygraph test produces a high rate of false positives. This means that there are many innocent individuals whom the test labels incorrectly, and some have estimated this rate to be 40% or more of individuals tested.lie detector.jpg

With such a high rate of failures, I wonder whether scientists and researchers will continue to place such high importance on the polygraph test alone. Because this test is based on the Pinocchio response, there have been many guilty people who have used countermeasures to pass, such as biting their tongue or curling their toes. There is an evident flaw in the polygraph test. Although very unlikely because people are so deceptive, I hope that we see a test created in the near future that is 100% accurate. To learn more about the history of the polygraph test, click here.

Thinking about children's attitudes towards life can be a touchy subject for some people because it is all stemmed back to which parenting style was used with them. Although that is not the first explanation that comes to mind about a devious child, that is usually a good explanation why they are the way they are. A common argument might be is it's the child's fault that they don't listen to punishment and rebel from parents but according to Diana Baumrind's work on the major parenting styles it is due to how the parents raise their children. It would be useful for a parent raising children to know how each of the three affects the child's attitude. According to an online article, http://www.parentingscience.com/parenting-styles.html, the outcomes that go along with these parenting styles are: 1. Authoritative has a firm set of rules but very forgiving punishments that create well behaved children that tend to be emotionally happy and capable of thinking on their own to make good decisions. 2. Authoritarian is very strict with rules and punishments. Their children tend to be relatively well behaved, possess inferior social skills and suffer from depression and anxiety. 3. Permissive is very laid back with rules and punishments. Their children tend to have higher self-esteem and lower depression and anxiety. They also are more likely to become involved with drugs and perform poorly in school.
parenting-style.jpgParents should be aware of the general outcomes of children due to their parenting techniques because they will help the child, themselves and everyone involved with the child's lives easier. They should know what happens generally with each type of parenting and should plan accordingly.

Dying to be Beautiful

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I feel like people have a lot of misconceptions concerning anorexia nervosa and similar eating disorders. Treating anorexia is not just about helping patients gain weight; it is about giving them appropriate psychiatric care. Self esteem is not easy to build up if you think you're ugly. I know because I struggled with this for almost my entire life. It's also hard to feel like you have some sense of control in uncontrollable situations. There are so many mental problems that come with anorexia and the like, and people need to appreciate these complexities.

People also think about anorexia as a "girl's disease", and certainly in most instances it is. However, what are we doing to help men who suffer from anorexia? In reality, the occurrence of male anorexia is a lot higher than most people would ever think, and these boys/men have an even more difficult time recovering from this disease because of the stereotypes and stigmas associated with the disease and with gender. Here is a link to an article and video regarding the occurrence of male anorexia: http://dailynightly.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/02/22/10477185-boys-dying-to-be-thin-the-new-face-of-anorexia.

Finally, people also don't understand how truly difficult it is for recovering anorexics to gain weight. Even after patients are getting a handle on their psychological problems, putting on a single pound is a giant challenge in a physiologic sense. I think the following video does an amazing job showing just how long the path to recovery is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VS2mfWDryPE.

As many Americans aspire to lose weight, they are looking for the best diet and meal plans out there. Of course, advertisements hit people with thousands of different ways to lose weight, many of these methods being very unsuccessful and even harmful to the body. After much research, the best way to truly lose weight is to maintain a healthy diet as well as get a sufficient amount of exercise. Contrary to popular belief, eating healthy snacks throughout the day may actually lead to a loss of weight.

Healthy Snacks.jpgGood Housekeeping presented a "Snack-All-Day Diet Plan" which consists of eating low calorie snacks throughout the day (about 180 calories per snack) and having about a 300 calorie dinner. The key here is that these snacks are healthy and low in calories. Suggested healthy snacks include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and low-fat dairy products.

So why can't I just hold off until a regular meal and fight off my urge to eat snacks? This is a perfectly legitimate question. Eating three healthy and well-balanced meals throughout the day is just as reasonable and healthy as the "Snack-All-Day Diet Plan". However, the urge to overeat is more common with a three-planned-meal diet than with consuming low-calorie snacks throughout the day. As people get hungry, they might decide to "fight off" their hunger until the next meal. However, with this built up hunger, people are more likely to binge during their next meal. Binging, as we all know, leads to weight gain.

The "Snack-All-Day Diet Plan" is a very effective and reasonable way to lose weight, as confirmed by researchers at the Mayo Clinic. This diet plan, among others, is a great way for people to lose weight in a healthy way, stressing the fact that healthy diets and exercise are very important keys to maintaining a healthy body weight.

Am I a Good Parent??

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parenting styles.jpgWhen it comes to parenting, there are many different ideas on how to raise a child. Some people take ideas from their parents. Some get ideas from friends. Others read books or take classes on parenting. No one has all of the answers. Because of the many different approaches, psychology researchers, Diana Baumrind in particular, have tried to narrow down parenting styles into groups. They have come up with four categories that they feel can describe the various different parenting styles.

Permissive parenting is when the parents give the child a lot of freedom and show a tremendous amount of affection. They also rarely use discipline. Authoritarian parents give many demands to their child and rarely give them freedom to do what they please. They punish often and don't show a lot of affection. Authoritative parents give their child clear guidelines but also give them freedom and support. Finally, uninvolved parents tend to give little to no attention to their child.

Although Baumrind determined that authoritative parenting was the most beneficial for children because it gives them the best mix of permissive parenting and authoritarian parenting, it has been found that parenting styles don't matter as much as originally thought. As long as you provide your child with the appropriate amount of affection and discipline- the average expectable environment- they will turn out great.

So when it comes time to become parents, don't stress about knowing what each type of parenting style entails, and what style is best to adapt. Just make sure that you are giving them love, attention, and discipline and you will have yourself one well-raised, well-adjusted child.

Click here for more information on parenting styles or find out what your parenting styles would be!

Virtual Aggression

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In the past decade children's aggressive behavior has been directly correlated to violent video games, and some show no correlation at all. There are many other factors that play a role in why children's behavior is aggressive even if they play a substantial amount of violent video games. According to Dr. Christopher Ferguson from Texas A&M, factors such as negative relationships with parents, antisocial personality, and delinquent peers can affect a child's behavior towards others. Findings show violence video games will not have a long-term, but short-term, affect on one's behavior. The video games introduced in today's era are much different than what it was 25 plus years ago. As Pong and Pac-Man did not have any affect on the aggression of children's behavior, Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto might. Or do they? Patrick Kierkegaard from the University of Essex in England states, "There is no obvious link between real-world violence statistics and the advent of video games." You might be saying to yourself how this is not possible, but it is! This is going to be hard to believe, but with violent video game sales skyrocketing since the 1990's, violent crime has surprising decreased. It is still hard to conquer what the real cause and effect of violent video games on children is, but both sides of the argument has great supporting evidence for their given reasons. Grand_Theft_Auto_IV_cover.jpg

Professor Jonathan Haidt, a social psychologist at the University of Virginia, recently published a book titled Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion that brings calls into mind new question regarding political polarization in the United States, while at the same time evaluating the changing views of American political parties. The book attempts to cover the spectrum of different ideas ranging from the disparities of political communication to the morals that create groups and societies. In a New York Times article William Saletan, Slate Magazine's national correspondent, and author of "Bearing Right: How Conservatives Won the Abortion War" summarizes the book and provides a brief discussion on it.
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In the discussion regarding the book, Saletan really seemed to focus on the rhetoric of politics. He argues that when it comes to politics, people who try to argue to other people's logic rarely ever win, because people choose political parties based on their morals. Therefore, when it comes to political discussion, it's more beneficial to try and discussion the morality of it, then to use reason. The example that Haitd used in his book was a study in which he asked participants

Is it wrong to have sex with a dead chicken? How about with your sister? Is it O.K. to defecate in a urinal? If your dog dies, why not eat it?

He concluded that under interrogation, most subjects in psychology experiments agree these things are wrong. But none can explain why. This shows how people who have strong beliefs struggle with the ability to justify them, when they are just based on morals. This in turn translates into the difficult political rhetoric many face.

For more information on Haidt and his research visit his website

Detecting Lies

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E. H. Chapin once said, "A small lie, if it actually is a lie, condemns a man as much as a big and black falsehood. If a man will deliberately cheat to the amount of a single cent, give him opportunity and he would cheat to any amount." We spend a large amount of time trying to figure out if people are lying to us. Many people think they can tell if people are lying, others feel there are other methods that detect lies better. I believe that I can tell if my friend is lying, but not someone that I barely know. I feel that if you know someone well, it is easier to notice if they are telling the truth. Back when I was in high school, my little brother told me he was going to start for football. I knew that even though he was pretty good at football, there was no way he was going to start for his football team since it was his first year. If some random person told me that they started for their football team, I would probably believe them even if it wasn't true. Detecting lies by just instincts is not always the most accurate. Polygraphs are one of the most popular tests to detect lies. The polygraph test works by asking the suspect relevant, irrelevant, and control questions and evaluating their autonomic activity following the questions that are asked (video that shows the polygraph test, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xK6bp1Axvac). I think that the polygraph test is a better way of determining lies than using humans. I believe that the polygraph test is more of an arousal detector. If I was put to take a polygraph test I feel like I would fail regardless, because when they ask me relevant, I would be nervous about whether my autonomic activity would pick up and make it look like I committed the crime. Polygraphs are more accurate that humans when it comes to detecting lies, but I believe that there is no perfect way to tell whether someone is lying.

Our textbook briefly discusses the process of decision making. It is the process of choosing among a set of options. The authors of Freakonomics, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, took an interesting twist to this concept of psychology. They decided to show that, at root, economics is the study of incentives. One chapter uses economic theory to show cheating exists in sumo wrestling. The authors say that if people have a chance to cheat, some will. This is decision making.

Freakonomics may not seem that interesting to some students, including myself when it was introduced to me by my dad. However, after looking into the Freakonomics website, it appears to be fascinating. The authors look into correlation versus causation on a wide variety of topics. For example, how did the legalization of abortion affect the rate of violent crime? These topics may not all be relevant to a college students life; however, reading this book will help us understand the way in which people make decisions. This can be applied to every aspect of college student's life. We wake up each morning and decide whether or not to go to class and each moment we make after this is made up of decisions.
freakonomics-book.jpg
If you don't have the time or money to read the book, you're in luck. They have turned the Freakonomics ideas into a movie and lucky for you again, it's on Netflix! The movie trailer can be found on YouTube and gives a quick glimpse into the use of economics to decipher decision making.

Our textbook briefly discusses the process of decision making. It is the process of choosing among a set of options. The authors of Freakonomics, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, took an interesting twist to this concept of psychology. They decided to show that, at root, economics is the study of incentives. One chapter uses economic theory to show cheating exists in sumo wrestling. The authors say that if people have a chance to cheat, some will. This is decision making.

Freakonomics may not seem that interesting to some students, including myself when it was introduced to me by my dad. However, after looking into the Freakonomics website, it appears to be fascinating. The authors look into correlation versus causation on a wide variety of topics. For example, how did the legalization of abortion affect the rate of violent crime? These topics may not all be relevant to a college students life; however, reading this book will help us understand the way in which people make decisions. This can be applied to every aspect of college student's life. We wake up each morning and decide whether or not to go to class and each moment we make after this is made up of decisions.
freakonomics-book.jpg
If you don't have the time or money to read the book, you're in luck. They have turned the Freakonomics ideas into a movie and lucky for you again, it's on Netflix! The movie trailer can be found on YouTube and gives a quick glimpse into the use of economics to decipher decision making.

I've spent 21 incredibly, lucky and wonderful years on this Earth, and as screwed up of a place as it is, I hope to spend many, many more here with you all. Humans, for all our faults, continue to (slowly) discover and create more and more wonderful things at an exponential rate. But as the unstoppable juggernaut of science marches onward, and in a world where our view of ourselves and the universe changes drastically over the course of a lifetime, there are many people who have great trouble accepting the value of or the validity of science, even if the evidence is overwhelming, out in the open (often the very physical processes they deny are the source of and are proved successful by technology they use every day!) and if accepting it as truth only requires a change of mind.
The problem lies in that a change of mind often requires a change of heart, as author Jonathan Heidt claims in his book The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion. In it, he states that human reason is used less in deciding where our morals or political allegiances lie, and more in justifying the morals and political allegiances we have already acquired through intuition or emotion, that is, how we feel about something based on our interpretation of it. In my mind, this could explain why I've watched so many people cling to ideas and beliefs that have been buried under mountains of evidence supporting contradicting ideas, even when acceptance of contradicting idea isn't detrimental to the long term interests of the individual in question. This applies to all of us, and I'm still learning the ways in which I am wrong about the way the world works. It's always a difficult lesson, and I admit that even though I try to be an somewhat open minded person, I change my mind less often than I think, and the evidence supports this. This results in a mindset that is very difficult to change by reasoning with it, as our deepest beliefs are associated with different parts of our psyche.
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Regardless of this, I see and admire the many of our species who are striving to change the causes of our belief towards reason and evidence, and away from our intuition and emotion (which are both notoriously inaccurate). This will help increase the chances we will survive ourselves, by allowing us to more accurately see the world by creating a mindset where humans are able to change their minds more effectively, while providing a system that keeps us from believing anything without first considering and comparing it to our old theories, not paralyzed by constant change in what we believe.
Some people seem to be a little too good at changing their minds v
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For instance, when it's advantageous on the campaign trail. But in fairness to Mitt, we all do it sometimes, whether we realize it or not.

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